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Album of the Week: Deciphering the Message by Makaya McCraven

Makaya McCraven's latest, Deciphering the Message

Born in to a musical family, Makaya McCraven has rhythm in his blood. His father is jazz drummer Stephen McCraven, and mother a Hungarian singer Agnes Zsigmondi (with the band Kolinda). Now based in Chicago, McCraven is a jazz drummer, producer, and beat scientist.

For his first record on the famed jazz label Blue Note, McCraven gained access to the label's archives to use as a foundation for his latest album, Deciphering the Message. Putting a modern twist on classics from Blue Note's catalogue, McCraven chose to focus on records from the 1960s and before.

There are many contemporary musicians who are determined to tie the legacy of jazz in to today's terms; people like Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammed (with their fantastic Jazz is Dead series), Jazzmeia Horn, and McCraven to name a few. Blue Note has also been an integral force in bridging the gap of the old with the new, often tying in collaborations with musicians outside of the jazz culture: DJs, hip hop artists, R&B. Throughout Deciphering the Message, McCraven works a blend of sampling and live musicianship.

Tune in to KAXE each week to hear from our chosen Album of the Week!

The music director at KAXE since 2014, Kari (pronounced Car-ee) Hedlund reviews music on the daily. She also hosts New Music every Wednesday (2 and 10 p.m.) and Sunday (noon), along with the KAXE Morning Show on Thursdays.